What Next?


Contemplation

I just turned 30, completed the first year of my part time Masters, have a “good” job, am happily married and … just can’t make up my mind on what to do next. And this inability to make up my mind, while my biological clock is ticking, just drives me nuts.

Any sane person would think I’m plain crazy, and maybe I am. Or maybe this is just the product of a life driven by goals after goals. When the goal is not clear anymore, nothing makes sense. School was for good grades to get into a good university, university was to get a good job, and now what is a good job for? “To be comfortable and content for the rest of my life” would be a sensible answer. I guess… Maybe it is “the rest of my life” part that is particularly scary. And the funny thing is, for once, the source of the pressure is not from family or society, but from myself. An unconscious pressure coming from deep down to do… something more with my life…

Having a stable job is a trap in itself. You work hard to achieve it and when you do, it traps you into thinking you cannot survive without the comforts that salary provides you. Will I be able to afford going for my spa days or spending on average Rs500 each time I step into Intermart (which is almost everyday) or indulging in my yearly overseas trips without that salary? Probably not. But it’s not like these are life necessities. Being financially independent is nice, sure. But the price to pay is corporate slavery. One of my colleagues retired this week after 21 years at the company. I looked at her with envy. To retire early is such a sweet, sweet dream. But to do what?

I think I should have a taken a full gap year to devote to discovering myself. To travel. To think and dream and take my time. Of course, I could not afford that, I did not have the money to travel. Or the patience to sit still for a minute. Well, that was then and this is now. I am 30.

And the options are as follows:

  1. have babies (still have to work to feed them),
  2. write a book (if it sells, quit my job),
  3. attempt CFA (least favourite option),
  4. go abroad for further studies (and more importantly a last free ramble in a new country) (if i win the lottery),
  5. find a genius new business idea (if it works, quit my job),
  6. devote my life to charity (still have to work to feed myself),
  7. try to improve my cooking and housekeeping skills (yawn),
  8. travel the world (if i win the lottery).

I sincerely do not know how our parents did it. They say it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion comes together. The other day I watched a documentary on Daft Punk, how two ordinary guys transformed music from nothing. I want that kind of passion. I doubt whether that’s possible in a finance job. Fulfillment will not come from a 9 to 5 job, that’s as plain as day.

And I hate to settle, so I will keep looking.

5 thoughts on “What Next?

  1. I have found that sometimes… when I am at my most restless…I am not fully acknowledging or appreciating my life at the present moment. I tell my own 30 yr old daughter not to let society (or facebook) dictate where she thinks she should be or what she should be doing at this- or any other- point in her life. BTW, I read that people are more prone to make the worst decisions of their lives at age 30 and 50..😁.. not really surprised, but yikes.

    1. thanks cindy, i agree with you on not letting yourself be dictated by society or fb. i think the trick is striking the right balance between fully appreciating the present moment and making the right decisions for your future. at 30 you reflect on all the decisions you took when you were 20, and this decade you kind of feel like you cant afford to get it wrong this time if you know what i mean

      1. Totally agree… and it sounds like you’ve made some great choices so far..πŸ˜€ The big difference between me and my daughters and son at this age is that I didn’t get a continual “feed” on what all my “friends” were up to ..weddings, vacations, adventures and close up shots of all the (AMAZING!!!) food they were eating. I just worry that it leads to a constant low grade state of dissatisfaction, restlessness or the sense that you’re missing out on something or not living up to some grand vision…not to mention this weird need for validation from people online about how great someone’s life is.. yuck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for planning ahead and making course corrections as needed..I guess I just love the peace I have at my age that comes from being satisfied with a good and imperfect life of both hits and misses. (I know, I know, I probably sound like your mom! HAHA) πŸ’œπŸ˜€

  2. Yes! Keep looking, don’t settle, I too reckon that’s the right way to go about this πŸ™‚ it’s quite amazing, and weird at the same time, to see how much we “question the same questions” at this age no matter how different our lives, our paths have been. Amazing and good weird πŸ™‚

  3. Think outside the box… this is one of the most scary thing to do especially when society has taught us that to be ‘normal’ you need to be traditional. Going after ones dream is probably the most exciting thing an individual can do. Dreams are fuel of life. I think your inability to think bigger is because you are stuck in convention and afraid to take the leap.. don’t be..an exciting life awaits you if you dare.

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